(Photo credit: Patti McClintic)
TRANSCRIBED BY KATIE MARKER
Think Country: Alright, tell me about your humble beginnings. I see you were from Louisiana.
Jordan Davis: Yes.
Think Country: When did you start playing and thinking you were going to be a musician?
Jordan Davis: Yeah. Growing up, I had my Dad, you know he wrote around the house. My uncle’s a songwriter and my Mom played piano, so it’s a very musical family, but you know, I really didn’t think seriously about it until after college, until I graduated and started looking at starting a career. I wasn’t super happy with where I was at and I knew I loved music and I loved songwriting, so that’s when I first really decided to chase it, and that’s when I moved to Nashville. I think growing up it was just always around. I always say with me and my brother, you know, we ran away from music as long as we could, but eventually it ran us down, so that’s kind of part of it.
Think Country: Yeah, you had no choice, it was going to get you.
Jordan Davis: Yeah, that’s true.
Think Country: Yeah, well, I’m glad it did because I’ve been listening to your album (“Home State”) on a loop this morning and wow, it’s good, so good.
Jordan Davis: Thank you, I appreciate that.
Think Country: You’re welcome. I did see your bio. I kind of skimmed it real fast and saw you actually graduated from LSU with a degree in Resource Conservation. I mean, you really changed gears.
Jordan Davis: Yeah, we definitely went to the other end of that, but that was something that me and my brother both graduated, well, his is a little different, but we both graduated with environmental science degrees from LSU. Yeah, my Mom was really, really big on that. She wanted us to get degrees.
Think Country: It’s not a bad thing to have something to fall back on.
Jordan Davis: No, it’s not, it’s not at all, and I’m happy I did it. I enjoyed it. I loved every second of being in Baton Rouge and being at LSU. It’s just that I think that we both just are very passionate about music and songwriting and that’s just kinda the way the ball bounces for us.
Think Country: That’s cool. So, now would you advise other young artists that are coming up to do the same thing? To do that, to go through the college experience, if they’ve got it in them?
Jordan Davis: Yeah. I mean, I would. Just because I just grew up so much in college, you know, outside of music.
Think Country: Right.
Jordan Davis: I mean, as a person. So, if you have that chance, yes. Nashville is incredible as well, and I feel like, being a musician, if you move to Nashville and just be a songwriter, you’re going to have to grow up, because it’s not easy, but yeah. I just felt like I really found out a lot of stuff about myself in college, and that’s the reason why I would say to do it. You know the degree is great to have, but I definitely learned more about myself than I did from any text book when I was at LSU.
Think Country: Well, that’s great advice. Let’s see, you got a publishing deal in 2015 and a recording deal in 2016 on Leap Day! Is that true?
Jordan Davis: Was it on Leap Day?
Think Country: That’s what it says in your bio. Somebody researched that and said it was on Leap Day.
Jordan Davis: Oh, I guess so.
Think Country: You better check that out and make sure they aren’t telling tales out of school about you! (It was on his official UMG bio, so I’m sure it was all completely correct and this comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek)
Jordan Davis: Yeah, well, to me it could have been on whatever day, the fact is that I signed with Universal and that’s one of the best days of my life.
Think Country: So, it’s going good for you over there? You’re enjoying it?
Jordan Davis: Yeah, I love it. I mean, they’ve been so great to me and so supportive and really got behind this record, and just me as an artist, and that means the world. So, yeah. I mean, I think I’m at the best label in town.
Think Country: You know, you are one lucky guy, but you work hard at it. You work hard to be that lucky, right? Okay, I love your album, and I’ve got to say, it’s hard to pick a favorite track because they’re all so good. Do you have a favorite track on the album?
Jordan Davis: I do, the last song. “Leaving New Orleans” is one that means a lot to me. You know, I love that city, it’s really special to me, and I just feel like we wrote it really, really well. It’s just a song that I wanted to do the city justice. I wanted to do the entire song justice. That’s one of my favorite lyrics that I’ve ever written, and I’m just really happy with how it turned out. Paul (Digiovanni) did a great job production-wise on it, and if I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be “Leaving New Orleans”.
(Video courtesy of Country 97.1 HANK FM Texas Roadhouse Back Porch LIVE and YouTube)
Think Country: Yeah, if I had to pick a favorite that would be mine too. It was a toss up between that one and “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot” because I thought that one just had a cool vibe to it. It was cool, but that other one, yeah, that’s a cool one. Tell us a little more about the album, anything in the recording process, the writing process, that stood out to you about making that album that were highlights or lowlights?
Jordan Davis: I think “Dreamed You Did”, “Made That Way” and “Selfish” were three very, very late additions to the record. They were written. I had them, and I had three other songs in place of those, and about three weeks before the record was supposed to be turned in, me and my producer said we wanted to go cut three new songs, and we got kinda, well, it wasn’t great news to the label or my management team, but I think those songs made the album so much better. They definitely were great add-ons at the last minute. I’ll always remember that decision to go back in and cut those songs. You know, “Made That Way” and “Selfish”, I’ve heard people saying they love those two songs, so I think that maybe it was just the grace of God. He was like, “Hey, cut those songs! These need to be on the record!” That’s the one thing that’s probably going to stand out to me for a long time about “Home State”.
Think Country: Well, that’s cool, because sometimes it’s about the little bit of extra effort and just taking that little bit of extra time, because somebody upstairs was looking out for you.
Jordan Davis: I heard that.
Think Country: Speaking of extra effort, I was “stalking” you ahead of time, although really I was researching you, but I read that you did some bartending in Nashville before you got signed. Bartending at Ellendale’s, is that true?
Jordan Davis: Yeah.
Think Country: Alright. Did you consider yourself to be a good bartender?
Jordan Davis: Oh, I was a GREAT bartender.
Think Country: Okay, then this fits really well, because a lot of times we like to ask some fun questions. Annette Gibbons (Think Country’s Founder) over in the UK and I enjoy a good cocktail and we are always looking to create a signature cocktail for Think Country. We have me here in Nashville and her, I like to call her “The Brit with Grit” because she’s awesome, over there. So, if you were going to make a signature cocktail for Think Country, what would you put in it for us, and what would you call it? I mean, you know, you gotta make us something good.
Jordan Davis: Yeah. I’d base it with whiskey. Let’s see, over in the UK, we gotta bring that in there so, Absinthe and then, I’m going to say a twist on a Sazerac. So, we have some whiskey, some Absinthe, some bitters and what else could be throw in there? We could throw in some orange peel and maybe a splash of cranberry for color, and we’ll call it a… I don’t know what we could call it. A “Country… I don’t know”. (He was really drawing a blank here)
Think Country: I think you’re on to something with “country” because, I mean, we’re dealing with two countries here. We are a global operation you know.
Jordan Davis: Yeah, we could call it a… I don’t know, is it ripping off, well…like, you know? (He’s got something here, but he’s hesitating. I’m not letting him let go of it though)
Think Country: No! You’re not ripping off anything!
Jordan Davis: A C2C?
Think Country: A C2C! There you go! We could actually call it a Sea2Sea, like, you know… I mean, it is the festival, but we could just change it up that little bit, so we could rip it off some, but we’ll just do it with… seas!
Jordan Davis: Maybe we are on to something, and then maybe we’ll get the official drink of C2C next year and we’ll all just make a bunch of money.
Think Country: Alright, I’m with you there, because I haven’t been over to C2C yet, so I’m there. Let’s do it. We’ll give you credit and everything. That’s cool. She’ll (Annette) love this. She’ll absolutely be eating this up.
Think Country: Okay, so we asked our readers if they had any questions for you and one of them came up with one that I just have to ask you, it’s so good. She asked, and I’m actually wording it exactly like she did, “There is a rumor that your facial hair has its own following and namesake. Would you care to comment on that, and when can we expect its own Instagram account?”
Jordan Davis: (Laughs) So, the own Instagram account, I don’t know. I need to get somebody on that, but it definitely gets a lot of attention. It does have a name, and I have to thank Storme (Warren) over at Sirius/XM The Highway for naming it.
Think Country: He gives everybody a name, doesn’t he?
Jordan Davis: I know, right? He named my beard. Wow. I’m blanking on it. What’s the name of the guy from Rudolph or something like that?
Think Country: Yukon Cornelius?
Jordan Davis: That’s it! Hell yeah!
Think Country: The prospector?
Jordan Davis: Yep. Storme named my beard Yukon Cornelius
(Photo credit: christmas-specials.wikia.com)
Think Country: Oh gosh!
Jordan Davis: So, that’s the name of it and I’ll get working on that Instagram account.
Think Country: Alright, our reader will be really happy because she’s a very devout fan of yours.
Think Country: Touring. You’re touring up a storm this summer, aren’t you?
Jordan Davis: Yeah, we’re going to be out with Jake Owen and Chris Janson on the “Life’s What You Make It” Tour, and man, we’ve really been looking forward to that. It’s going to be a lot of fun and it’s in minor league baseball parks which is going to be great, and I’m just going to have a lot of fun with those guys. You know, I’ve been listening to their music for a long time, so to be able to be out with them and actually open their show is going to be pretty surreal.
Think Country: I’m excited. I think we’re actually going too. My husband is a photographer, he does photography for Think Country and we’re trying to get media for the Chattanooga show in May, so we’re kind of excited. Here I am talking to you and hopefully we’ll get to see you do your thing in May, I really hope so.
Jordan Davis: Yeah, it will be awesome.
Think Country: Yeah, we’re stoked. I mean, nobody ever plays Nashville! Everyone lives here, but nobody plays here! So, Chattanooga is down the road. We’re excited about that. So, are you going to the UK anytime? Everybody over there needs to know that.
Jordan Davis: Nothing on the books yet, but that’s a big thing for me. I really want to get over there, and they’ve shown so much support and just been very grateful and we’ve had a great response to the record from them, and I want to get over there and thank them in person. So, we’re definitely working on getting over there as soon as we can.
Think Country: Yep, they want you really bad. They’re really excited about that. They just love, love, love it and they’ll be singing your songs back to you and everything.
Think Country: If you could collaborate with an artist outside of the country genre and do a duet with them, who would it be, and why?
Jordan Davis: Man, goodness gracious! I’m going to go with the one I’ve been listening to a lot right now, and he’s actually from Ireland, Foy Vance. He has an album out called “The White Swan”, and I have not stopped listening to it for about a month now. I feel like that answer might change in, like two weeks, but right now, I was listening to him this morning, so, I’m just going right off the cuff, but man, I would just love to write a song with him or do something with Foy Vance. I’m a huge fan.
Think Country: That’s cool. That’s a different answer. Usually everybody just goes with Lynyrd Skynyrd or something, but that was different. I like that, it was a good spin.
Think Country: Now, the final one, that we ask everybody, because we are Think Country, when you Think Country, what do you think?
Jordan Davis: When I think country, I think of songwriting. I think of stripping it down and listening to a story. That’s what I grew up on. Songwriters like (John) Prine, (Kris) Kristofferson and Don Williams. So, when I think of country music, I think of a story and a lyric.
Think Country: That’s a great answer. That’s perfect.
Jordan Davis: Awesome.
Think Country: I think we did it in the allotted amount of time too.
Jordan Davis: Yeah, that’s great. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me.
Think Country: Thank you, it was a great conversation, and I imagine you have more of these to do today.
Jordan Davis: Yeah, well, I think I have a couple, but we’ll get them knocked out. We’re flying out for Florida tonight. We have Tortuga (Music Festival) in a couple days, so that’s going to be a good weekend.
Think Country: It will be a good weekend, you’re going to get away from the, well, you won’t be here, where it’s going to snow. Alright, well, thank you Jordan, hopefully we’ll get to see you in Chattanooga.
Jordan Davis: Yeah, that’d be awesome.
Think Country: Okay, you have a good weekend.
JORDAN DAVIS can be found: